Leading agile teams, in software development, is a challenging role of any software development manager.
As a scrum master or development manager, you have to:
- Motivate people.
- Let them work flawlessly.
- Have a product that could be shippable.
- Hear complaints.
- Do not micromanage.
Moreover, I could go on for, at least, other three pages.
The myth of the self-organizing team is as the name says a myth.
People must be nurtured and informed of the desired outcome, but suddenly a doubt sprung out about how to implement a feature or if the architecture is moving in the right direction.
As software development manager my goal is having a product that have the right maintenance cost.
So I have to solve the problem, of many coders, that “democratize” too much the direction to take, a wrong decision is better that no decision at all.
I have team made of three coders not of the same seniority, usually I have two senior, one medium.
Applying the principle of loose ownership, everyone owns something, but in fact, the decision is loosely shared.
At every coder, I will give a unique role and some shared roles, let have an example:
Senior 1: Release management – Architecture – Database.
Senior 2: Bug Fixing – Architecture – User Interface.
Medium: Database – Services.
The system work like that, when there is a doubt on something to do on the Database, the two that have Database role could talk, if they agree the problem is over; if they don’t agree the one without Database could choose one or the other solution.
In case of a unique role example: “Services”, it is a single person decision no questions asked!
The part of deciding who owns what is the hard one:
- Choosing wisely and not taking two people that are too bond together with the same shared role.
- You have also to choose people that are competent in their role.
- Pay attention at the same time to team balance and behaviour balance.
There is a perfect solution? No, there is not a perfect solution; you can work incrementally to find the solution that works for you.
There is only a safe thing in the life nothing last forever, the change is the challenge to win.